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Probably the biggest question of our age is how can we continue to develop as a society while at the same time preventing any further damage to our environment. This is certainly a huge challenge for the construction industry. The UK government has set a target of reducing the emissions levels in 1990 by 68% in 2030. There is a lot we need to do in the next 8 years. We are working on some initiatives right now that we think will dramatically improve our environmental performance. These
measures include :



We have ISO 50001 Energy Management Certification. This ensures we monitor our energy use and work to reduce our consumption year on year. 

Use of HVO fuel for Plant and equipment

HVO fuel (Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil Fuel) is using vegetable oils and animal fats and is 100% biodegradable. When compared to regular diesel HVO reduces carbon dioxide by 90%, nitrogen by 27% and particulate matter by 94%.

Use of efficient plant

We have recently updated most of our fleet of 300 excavators to new highly fuel efficient Hitachi and CATs. These excavators are on average 10% more efficient than the models they have replaced. 

Implementing plant good practise

This is essentially the same mentality as turning out the light when you leave a room. We are encouraging our work force to switch off equipment when it is not in use i.e. especially during break times etc. We predict that this approach will save 12000ltrs of fuel per annum. 

Recycled plastic sheeting 

We have now starting using plastic sheeting instead of plywood. This will help to drastically reduce the 50,000 sheets of plywood we could expect to use annually. The fact that we can get 10 times the use out of each sheet and that it can be recycled at the end of its life give tangible environmental benefits.

Value Engineering

Our approach covers every aspect of the build from the sizing of foundations to the method of heating the building. The core principle for the design of the structure is to slim line all the constituent members so that the overall weight of the building is reduced and less materials are used in its building. We estimate that the work we put into the design of the structure  gives savings of up to 20% of the average design. The external fabric of the building is also a key focus for us and our aim here is to make it as thermally efficient as possible so that fully electric heating solutions work. 

Nett Zero Carbon Concrete

Another initiative we are very happy to take part in is a commitment to achieve nett zero carbon concrete by 2050 and to be half way there by 2030. Right now the main way of achieving this is to use as much cement replacement products in our concrete and greatly lessen our consumption of traditional cement. We are using various techniques to maximise this and have built a tracking system that informs us how we are doing and gives traceability to any external parties i.e. Clients, Local Authorities, etc. We are also intending to trial new technologies in the form of admixtures that will enhance the performance of concrete while reducing the cement content still further. As Concrete is the most used manmade substance on the planet right now no carbon targets will be met without addressing the amount of embedded carbon in its content. This is all cutting edge technology and reinforces the belfief that we can still build housing at scale while lessening our environmental impact.

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